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Water meters - pros and cons?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
594 replies 362.2K views
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  • HUMBUGHUMBUG Forumite
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    If you subsequently decide not to be metered , I think you have to agree to an 'Assessed Charge' . This is where they link you to some banding that fits closest to your cirumstances (ie, an approximation of how much water you would use).
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    HUMBUG wrote: »
    If you subsequently decide not to be metered , I think you have to agree to an 'Assessed Charge' . This is where they link you to some banding that fits closest to your cirumstances (ie, an approximation of how much water you would use).



    That isn't the case I am afraid.


    An 'assessed charge' is only offered where the customer has applied to have a meter fitted, and the meter cannot be fitted by the water company. Usually because of the physical difficulty or there are shared water mains; this often applies to older flats.


    The appropriate 'assessed charge' is shown on the company schedule of charges and is based either on the number of bedrooms or occupants. It is supposed to represent an average charge for metered customers.


    You don't have to accept the 'assessed charge' if offered and can remain on RV based charges.


    So to sum up.


    1. If you move into a property with a meter, you pay metered charges and cannot revert to RV charges.


    2. If you move into a property, the water company can fit a meter regardless of your wishes, or those of your landlord. Not all companies enforce that regulation; but IMO in the interests of fairness they should!


    3. If you are already paying RV charges, you can apply for a meter to be fitted. You can revert to RV charges within 12 months. The meter stays in situ and the next occupant pays metered charges.


    4. See above about assessed charges.


    5. In formally designated water shortage areas, meters can be compulsorily fitted.
  • edited 9 March 2015 at 11:11AM
    sawanderersawanderer Forumite
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    edited 9 March 2015 at 11:11AM
    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your help. The call centre at Affinity Water was not helpful, and just restated the wording on their website. I then contacted the Consumer Council for Water to check their understanding of the 12 months rule.

    They said that under the 1999 Water Act, all water companies are obliged to revert an account back on to an unmetered tariff on request. There are two water companies that have been granted an exception to this, but that Affitity Water Central is not one of them. To gain an exception, a water company has to apply to Defra and get the exception approved. As far as the regulatory team were aware, no other water companies had applied for an exception, let alone had one approved.

    This means that point 3 in Cardew's post immediately above is not only correct, but is also enforceable by the regulator under the 1999 Water Act, unless Defra has approved an exception.

    The CCW also said that from their research, about 9/10 customers would save by switching to a water meter, and that the other 1 in 10 would be very aware that they were high water users.

    I am happy now, and am going to apply for a meter to be installed.

    Thanks again for all your help.
  • More of an additional question, rather than an answer I'm afraid.


    We moved house just over a year ago, into a house with a water meter. The water bill halved!!


    The couple who moved to our old house (already friends) had a water meter fitted and their bill (our old bill) halved!!


    Is there any way to get refunded for the almost 18 years of overpayment? The occupancy of the house is very similar, and nothing has changed except the bill!


    Thanks
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    More of an additional question, rather than an answer I'm afraid.


    We moved house just over a year ago, into a house with a water meter. The water bill halved!!


    The couple who moved to our old house (already friends) had a water meter fitted and their bill (our old bill) halved!!


    Is there any way to get refunded for the almost 18 years of overpayment? The occupancy of the house is very similar, and nothing has changed except the bill!


    Thanks


    Welcome to the forum.


    That question has been floated many times.


    The simple answer is that you haven't overpaid - you paid exactly what the water company had to charge under the provisions of The Water Act(of Parliament).


    The same Act decreed you could have got a meter fitted 18 years ago - it is on the paperwork that comes with the bill. Also you could change back to your original method of charging, based on the Rateable Value, within 12 months if you found metering more expensive.


    Incidentally, how would the water company know that you didn't have 12 children, and watered the garden frequently!
  • Fair comment, to a novice money saver! I need to be more vigilant in future.


    Regards


    Edwards Way
  • csloggcslogg Forumite
    320 posts
    I have just moved from a house with no meter to one that has one.
    My direct debit has doubled. I am hoping it is because I am a new user and the water company does not yet know my usage and the payment will come down.
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    Ideally you should read your meter regularly so you can monitor your consumption - you can't reduce it if you don't measure it. It's also a good idea to check it to make sure you don't have any leaks.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • In this weeks news letter, 23/3/15, a woman claimed to have her water bill reduced from £65 per month to £4.50 a month. Don't think this can be possible. My standing charges are more than that. Perhaps some claims should be checked before being entered into the newsletter.


    We have recently moved to a house (2+ years) with a water meter. Just 2 of us and we spend 5 months of the year abroad. The bills are incredible. So high. I would never pick a meter. We are careful with water usage and still find the bills unreasonable. (We did have a leak which took 14 months to sort out. We know turn stopcock off every time we go away.)


    My advice is do not switch. However, if you don't wash, shower or clean then there might be a chance for a small saving.
  • modoosmodoos Forumite
    9 posts
    definitely if there arnt many of you in a household go for a meter, i did it and im saving already. you have a year to change back I think.
    ....
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